Dark Matter is evolving!!

14th November 2017

Dear Readers

We are writing to you with exciting news. After putting out five issues bursting with extraordinary writing and artwork, we have come to the realization that it’s time for a radical change—a change that will bring it into closer alignment with its original vision.* The change is in two parts:

I: Beginning with our next issue, #6, we will publish around four times a year instead of one to two. And each issue will contain no more than five or at most six pieces in addition to the material in Aftermath 11/9

So far, each issue of Dark Matter has been larger than the one before, for the simple reason that with each issue we receive more material we can’t turn away. This is of course a good thing, but we’re aware that for the reader, given the density and the intensity of the material we publish, it can be overwhelming and as a result, we’re afraid that some of that material is getting passed by. We put a great deal of care into selecting and editing the writing and artwork you find in our pages and this change will assure that each contribution to the journal is given the attention it deserves.

II: With forthcoming issues we are going to begin asking more of our contributors. Each of the writers or artists whose work we select for an issue will be asked to enter into conversation with the other writers and artists in that issue—via both writing and a conference call that will include Kristin and me. Excerpts from those writings and calls will appear in the issue, and our hope is that together we will craft a collective editorial. We will pilot this new model with a retrospective from issues #4 and #5 that will appear early in the new year, if not before.

Let me speak personally for a moment. As Dark Matter’s editor. I founded this journal because I wanted to gather the voices of writers and artists who were in love with the earth as I was and aware of brokenness and direness as I was and who were also dreamers and visionaries. I wanted—I needed—community, and as I said in my first editorial, I did not want this community to exist merely online.

Around this time last year, sensing we were heading for difficult times, I wrote to all the women who have contributed to the journal to propose an August gathering at the little lake north of Montreal where I spend my summers. “I believe we are going to be needing each other’s presence more than ever—for sustenance, guidance, and sanity,” I wrote. The gathering did happen. Nine of us spent three days in council, attending to dreams and divination. There was music and yoga and dance and swimming and there were many fires. There were beavers and hawks and frogs and a loon. We were nourished and guided in ways I could not have imagined. And I came to understand that without this element of physical gathering Dark Matter’s mission is incomplete.

What I’m saying is that, though the writing and the artwork in Dark Matter are superbly crafted, it is not primarily a literary journal. It’s not a journal of the arts. It’s meant to be an alive, breathing organism that serves to generate a field of consciousness. And to the extent that it exists only as a static online presence it is not fulfilling that mission. I believe that this new structure will bring it more in line with my original impulse: an impulse toward connection, community and healing.

It was also never my intention to edit Dark Matter alone. I was so happy to have found in Kristin someone with crack editorial skills who shares my vision for the journal. With this new model I would like to see greater participation in the editorial process among our contributors. We are also exploring different ways to engage the larger Dark Matter community in conversations centered around the themes featured in each issue.

* Deep bow to Andrea Mathieson, author of “Listening for the Long Song,” which appeared in #4. This plan emerged from our two-person council in Port Hope, Ontario in early November and most especially from her remarkable ability to listen—in this case, for the next step in Dark Matter’s evolution.

Lise Weil, Editor

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